Mike Williamson, Head of Radio at Carat, kicks off RAB’s brand new “Radio Head” blog which every month will feature a media agency head of radio. RAB asked Mike a few questions about why he loves his job and some fun facts about his life. Who knew Wet Wet Wet and Erasure were part of his record collection!
1. What’s the best thing about your job? (Be honest!)
Work wise: Working across a variety of accounts – each having very different objectives and needing different ideas and strategies.
Fun wise: Being invited to small exclusive gigs – except when Kasabian cancel at the last minute!
2. What’s your favourite station and which radio programmes do you listen to?
Absolute 90’s as I grew up listening to Britpop so I became an indie fan, XFM is also a favourite. Kisstory is put on a few times a week to liven up the team, and Kiss usually remains on the rest of the day – Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle Yeah (LMFAO) seems to be a favourite with a certain member of the team at the moment!
Call Collymore on talkSPORT is a regular appointment to listen when I’m driving home from Saturday football games.
3. What radio campaign are you most proud of working on?
Going back a few years it was working on the Walt Disney Studio’s Motion Picture releases. Starting off with a simple airtime brief and finishing with a tailored airtime, promotions and PR campaign including Capital FM DJ’s introducing a premiere involved a lot of work but the end result was really rewarding for the client.
More recently it was the Starbucks sponsorship of the Capital FM Summertime Ball. We launched a new product for Arla/Starbucks using all Global Radio’s platforms, leveraging PR and in store activation with hugely successful results.
4. Which radio campaigns have caught your ear recently?
I’ll be bias and say GoCompare – a newly won client! Apart from that the Blackberry sponsorship of the Kiss breakfast show is a great example of how a sponsorship can really work for the advertiser and the listener.
5. What’s the biggest hurdle you have to overcome to get radio on the schedule, and how do you manage this?
Several times the issue has been “we need to use visual media to launch a new product”. Showing how moving a small % of a TV/Press budget into a radio promotion, where a DJ and their team can interact with the product on air and endorse on air, can add huge value to a product launch.
6. What’s your view on what the big trend in media will be this coming year and how do you think it will it affect radio?
I’m looking forward to Absolute launching their In-Stream targeting. Allowing advertisers to target online logged-in listeners based on their demographic and location information will be a big breakthrough for the radio industry.
7. What was your local station when you were growing up?
Generally it was Radio 1. I remember tuning into the Chris Evans breakfast show and Mark & Lard’s drivetime show regularly.
8. Which DJ best defines your youth?
I was a teenager in the mid-late 90’s when Chris Evans was at his peak with the Radio 1 breakfast show as well as TFI Friday on Channel 4. Both shows were really fun – sounds a simple concept now but previous shows were quite dated, so it was quite a refreshing change for Evans to do what he did.
9. What was the first album you bought?
Now 16 on double cassette. Looking at the tracklist I have no idea why – hopefully it was more to do with De La Soul & Technotronic rather than Wet Wet Wet & Erasure…!
10.If you weren’t working in radio, what would you be doing?
I’d like to say a professional footballer but all the Carat footballers will just laugh at that, so probably a sports journalist.